Objective: Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the cause of premature death of 50% patients with chronic refractory epilepsy. Respiratory failure during seizures is regarded as an important mechanism of SUDEP. Previous studies have shown that abnormal serotonergic neurotransmission is involved in the pathogenesis of seizure-induced respiratory failure, while enhancing serotonergic neurotransmission in the brainstem suppresses it. Because peripheral inflammation is known to enhance serotonergic neuron activation and 5-HT synthesis and release, we investigated the effect of intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation on the S-IRA susceptibility during audiogenic seizures in DBA/1 mice. Methods: After DBA/1 mice were primed by exposing to sound stimulation for three consecutive days, they were tested for seizure severity and seizure-induced respiratory arrest (S-IRA) induced by sound stimulation under different conditions. We determined the dose and time course of the effects of intraperitoneal administration of LPS on audiogenic seizures and S-IRA. The effects of blocking TLR4 or RAGE receptors and blocking 5-HT receptors on the LPS-induced effect on S-IRA were investigated. Statistical significance was evaluated using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: Intraperitoneal injection of LPS significantly had dose-dependent effects in reducing the incidence of S-IRA as well as seizure severity in DBA/1 mice. The protective effect of LPS on S-IRA peaked at 8-12 hours after LPS injection and was related to both reducing seizure severity and enhancing autoresuscitation. Blocking TLR4 or RAGE receptor with TAK-242 or FPS-ZM1, respectively, prior to LPS injection attenuated its effects on S-IRA and seizure severity. Injection of a nonselective 5-HT receptor antagonist, cyproheptadine, or a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron, was effective in blocking LPS-induced effect on S-IRA. Immunostaining results showed a significant increase in c-Fos-positive serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe. Significance: This is the first study that demonstrates the effect of intraperitoneal LPS injection-induced inflammation on reducing S-IRA susceptibility and provides additional evidence supporting the serotonin hypothesis on SUDEP. Our study suggests that inflammation may enhance brainstem 5-HT neurotransmission to promote autoresuscitation during seizure and prevent SUDEP.
- audiogenic seizure
- seizure-induced respiratory arrest
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology